VIDEO Impulsiveness or Discipleship – Principles for Life

There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into a panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the lines of our own nature, not along the lines of God’s nature. Impulsiveness is a trait of the natural life, and our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God gives a sense of restraint to impulsiveness, suddenly bringing us a feeling of self-conscious foolishness, which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is all right in a child, but is disastrous in a man or woman— an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person. Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance. Notes on Isaiah, 1376 R


Principles for Life from the Death of Christ (1 Peter 2:21-24)

A Feast of Love

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. John 6:51

In the Danish film Babette’s Feast, a French refugee appears in a coastal village. Two elderly sisters, leaders of the community’s religious life, take her in, and for fourteen years Babette works as their housekeeper. When Babette comes into a large sum of money, she invites the congregation of twelve to join her for an extravagant French meal of caviar, quail in puff pastry, and more.

As they move from one course to the next, the guests relax; some find forgiveness, some find love rekindled, and some begin recalling miracles they’d witnessed and truths they’d learned in childhood. “Remember what we were taught?” they say. “Little children, love one another.” When the meal ends, Babette reveals to the sisters that she spent all she had on the food. She gave everything—including any chance of returning to her old life as an acclaimed chef in Paris—so that her friends, eating, might feel their hearts open.

Jesus appeared on earth as a stranger and servant, and He gave everything so that our spiritual hunger might be satisfied. In John’s gospel, He reminds His listeners that when their ancestors wandered hungry in the wilderness, God provided quail and bread (Exodus 16). That food satisfied for a time, but Jesus promises that those who accept Him as the “bread of life” will “live forever” (John 6:48, 51). His sacrifice satisfies our spiritual cravings.

By:  Amy Peterson

Reflect & Pray

How has God satisfied your hunger? What might it look like for you to give sacrificially?

Jesus, thank You for giving Your body and blood for us.

Grace-Filled Speech

Titus 2:7-8

Words are powerful. Harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction, like a match in the forest during a drought. Kind comments, on the other hand, feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the heat of day.

We can know our words are refreshing and seasoned with grace when …

Our tone and manner reflect the way we want others to speak to us. The behavior of others shouldn’t determine whether we speak kindly to them.  If we want people to talk to us gently, we should consistently present positive body language and speak with a gentle voice.

What we say about others is similar to what we would want said of us. We all need to have our strengths emphasized by friends and family so we can be confident of the gifts God has given us.

We speak only words we know to be true. Gossip and lies have no place in a Christian’s conversation. The Lord opposes lying tongues and false witnesses (Prov. 6:16-19).

Our speech is edifying. Speaking fairly and positively about others is part of godly speech.

Transforming our conversation begins with the right heart attitude. When we spend time in the Word of God, our hearts will soften and we’ll begin to respond differently. The Holy Spirit will convict us when our speech is inappropriate. He’ll also teach us to be aware of which words we use and when to stop talking. God will be glorified and others will be blessed when we practice grace-filled speech.

Active Power of Faith

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

When God grants the gift of faith that enables us at the point of salvation (Ephesians 2:8), it should not be seen as a static power that merely resides in our minds but rather an empowerment that is expected to grow into a dynamic and demonstrable “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4-9).

Faith preserves and protects us. Jesus insisted, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). These words are precise. Once faith is exercised, an eternal transaction takes place wherein a person is “passed” from spiritual death to eternal life. This is an absolute change and eliminates the possibility of hell (John 10:28-29).

Faith is power for effective prayer. The “mustard seed” promise in Matthew 17:20 does not refer to size or amount but to quality. The Greek comparative hoce, translated “as” in that passage, refers to the same kind of faith as the mustard seed. Just so, the promise of Matthew 7:7 (that if you ask and seek, you will find) depends on our confidence (faith) in the heavenly Father.

Faith is our “shield” against the Enemy. The seven pieces of God’s armor identified in Ephesians 6:10-18 include “the shield of faith” that provides an ability “to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (v. 16). That shield is defensive in the sense that it only provides protection when we use it to block the “darts.” The active use comes when we “resist the devil” (James 4:7) “in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9).

Do you use faith as God intended? HMM III

There Are No No Little Failures

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh thou that wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

—1 Chronicles 4:10

When Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, “What street is that?” but “What continent?” And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites.   WNG108-109

Lord, give me the boldness to attempt big things for Youso that whether I succeed or fail it will be in a big way! Amen.

 

Speak all these words unto them

Thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee.—Jeremiah 7:27.

 

His eyes were bright with intelligence and trained powers of observation; and they were beautiful with kindliness, and with the well-bred habit of giving complete attention to other people and their affairs when he talked with them.

Juliana H. Ewing.

 

There is a grace of kind listening, as well as a grace of kind speaking. Some men listen with an abstracted air, which shows that their thoughts are elsewhere. Or they seem to listen, but by wide answers and irrelevant questions show that they have been occupied with their own thoughts, as being more interesting, at least in their own estimation, than what you have been saying. Some interrupt, and will not hear you to the end. Some hear you to the end, and then forthwith begin to talk to you about a similar experience, which has befallen themselves, making your case only an illustration of their own. Some, meaning to be kind, listen with such a determined, lively, violent attention, that you are at once made uncomfortable, and the charm of conversation is at an end. Many persons, whose manners will stand the test of speaking, break down under the trial of listening. But all these things should be brought under the sweet influences of religion.

Frederick W. Faber.

 

God’s Own Multiplication Table

“A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” Isa. 60:22

Works for the Lord often begin on a small scale, and they are none the worse for this. Feebleness educates faith, brings God near, and wins glory for His name. Prize promises of increase! Mustard seed is the smallest among seeds, and yet it becomes a tree-like plant, with branches which lodge the birds of Heaven. We may begin with one, and that “a little one,’ and yet it will “become a thousand.” The Lord is great at the multiplication table. How often did He say to His lone servant, “I will multiply thee”! Trust in the Lord, ye ones and twos; for He will be in the midst of you if you are gathered in His name.

“A small one.” What can be more despicable in the eyes of those who count heads and weigh forces! yet this is the nucleus of a great nation. Only one star shines out at first in the evening, but soon the sky is crowded with countless lights.

Nor need we think the prospect of increase to be remote, for the promise is, “I Jehovah will hasten it in his time.” There will be no premature haste, like that which we see at excited meetings; it will be all in due time; but yet there will be no delay. When the Lord hastens, His speed is glorious.

 

%d bloggers like this: